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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Economics : Economics

Undergraduate Course: Economics of the Family (ECNM10074)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Economics CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to economics research on the family. Families are the fundamental organizational unit in society, and we will explore how far economic theory and methods help us understand how they work. We explore a variety of topics, such as why and whom people marry, how families decide on labour supply and fertility, the marriage premium, and the causes and consequences of divorce. Throughout, we will concentrate on the explanatory power of the economic aspects regarding these topics. The course has an applied focus, but we will cover both theoretical frameworks and empirical findings.
Course description The course may include the following topics:

Why marry? Household preferences and decision making; Matching: who marries whom? Divorce; Fertility; The family wage gap and the marriage premium; The family and public policy; the family as insurance.

The course is supported by a programme of lectures, exercise sets and a theoretical or empirical project.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Economics 2 (ECNM08006) AND Statistical Methods for Economics (ECNM08016)) OR ( Probability (MATH08066) AND Statistics (Year 2) (MATH08051)) OR Research Methods and Statistics (PPLS08001)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Essentials of Econometrics (ECNM10052) AND Topics in Microeconomics (ECNM10070)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have an equivalent of at least 4 semester-long Economics courses at grade B or above for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE courses in Intermediate Macroeconomics (with calculus); Intermediate Microeconomics (with calculus); Probability and Statistics; and Introductory Econometrics. If macroeconomics and microeconomics courses are not calculus-based, then, in addition, Calculus (or Mathematics for Economics) is required.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 170 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Problem sets (take home examination) (worth 10%)
Project paper (20%)
Degree exam (worth 70%)
Feedback Feedback on coursework will be provided within three weeks. Students will receive written feedback via email. General feedback for each assignment will be posted to the class via Learn.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A knowledge and understanding of key economic issues in the analysis of the family, including theoretical models and empirical evidence, along with associated mathematical and statistical techniques, implications of those models and a deeper understanding of recent research activity in some more specialised areas.
  2. Research and investigative skills such as problem framing and solving and the ability to assemble and evaluate complex evidence and arguments.
  3. Communication skills in order to critique, create and communicate understanding.
  4. Personal effectiveness through task-management, time-management, dealing with uncertainty and adapting to new situations, personal and intellectual autonomy through independent learning.
  5. Practical/technical skills such as, modelling skills (abstraction, logic, succinctness), qualitative and quantitative analysis and interpretation of data, programming of statistical packages and general IT literacy.
Reading List
No single source covers all the topics addressed in this course and we will draw on journal articles, working papers and research monographs. The following chapter provides a useful introduction to a number of the topics that we shall cover:

Yoram Weiss. Chapter 3 the formation and dissolution of families: Why marry? who marries whom? and what happens upon divorce. In Mark R. Rosenzweig and Oded Stark, editor, Handbook of Population and Family Economics, volume Volume 1, Part A, pages 81{123. Elsevier, 1997. ISBN 1574-003X. URL
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills See Learning Outcomes
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 lecture per week, each class with a duration of 2 hours.
Course organiserDr Andreas Steinhauer
Tel: (0131 6)51 5945
Course secretaryMiss Becky Guthrie
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